Most schools will have a dedicated website which focuses on; providing important notices to parents, informing academic progress and achievements, supplying staff details, promoting the school to prospective students and more. But not all will have a website which specifically targets the community and how local people can become involved with the school.
How can I ensure my community website appears in online searches?
When someone searches for ‘activities in the local area’ or ‘facilities for hire in my area’, although your school may be relevant, your school website won’t necessarily appear in the search results. This is because your website Keywords, Descriptions and Meta Tags are probably more focussed on appearing for ‘school’ searches than ‘community’ searches. Having a separate community-focussed website which is optimised to appear in these types of searches will ensure that your school can be found online, encouraging engagement with other potential stakeholders.
Want to know more about keywords and meta tags? Take a look at this useful guide https://www.wordstream.com/meta-tags.
To blog or not to blog?
A blog is a great way to inform your community about events, what’s been happening at your venue and any other interesting community news. Your blogs should be an ‘easy read’, not too formal and should have a ‘feel good’ quality about them. They shouldn’t take too long to write and you can spread this out amongst various people within the organisation, including students, to lighten the workload. Regularly adding interesting blog content will help improve your search rankings within Google and other web browsers, ensuring your website appears high up within the search results. Use the opportunity to insert some of your relevant keywords that the community may input to find your website and the services you offer.
For more tips on the benefits of blogging visit https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/the-benefits-of-business-blogging-ht.
How do I engage the local community in our school?
Promote all of the activities and events taking place at your school that may be relevant to the local community. This could be things like family fun days, summer fairs, fundraisers and other events you’re organising, as well as external groups and clubs taking place on site. Encourage your community to get active, socialise, learn a new skill, all whilst supporting their local school.
Promoting a timetable of the activities taking place also adds value to any organisations hiring your school to run their group or club. Ensure your hirers remain loyal and continue to book by engaging the community in their activities. They will only continue to hire space from you if they have users attending their sessions.
For a great example, visit this What’s On page https://ccs.schoolbookings.co.uk/whats-on.
Can I generate online enquiries and ticket sales?
Having a dedicated website with a ‘quick enquiry’ or ‘quick book’ function can be a great way of generating new space hires or ticket sales for classes, activities and events. A quick enquiry button linked to an internal email address is simple to set-up. A quick book button will most often require an API (Application Programming Interface) so that your website can ‘talk’ to a booking system, linking the two together.
BookingsPlus provides organisations with an online platform to maximise their income through letting facilities. Its complete administration system is integrated with a community-facing website which; showcases spaces available for hire, allowing potential customers to view spaces and make enquiries online, creates a timetable of activities taking place within the school, for the community can take part in and, includes the ability to advertise other school events and activities to the local community.
Visit https://www.bookingsplus.co.uk/school-letting-solution/marketing-your-school/ to find out more. To book a demo or simply for more information, contact me on Saron.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01604 677 764